Long Term Care Insurance

Millions of Americans are focused on the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) enacted into law in 2010. Focus ranges from deductibles, annual maximum out-of-pocket expenses, to network providers, and premiums.

The general public, on the other hand, pays little attention to Long Term Care (LTC) insurance. The American Association for Long Term Care Insurance recently released figures on a claim paid for a female policy holder, and her claims paid by the insurance company had reached $1.8 million dollars. It is interesting that politicians, the news media, and individuals are preoccupied with deductibles and premiums in the thousands of dollars per year (i.e. $2500 – $5000) while they virtually ignore nursing home expenses that can total $50,000 – $60,000 per year.

One wonders if the politicians in D.C., et al, are sincere in their efforts to legislate for the well-being of the citizens of America, or, are they more concerned with appealing to emotive voters?

Over half of Deadlines in “Affordable” Care Act Legislation have been Missed

The Obama administration has missed over half of the legislated deadlines for implementation of the “Affordable” Care Act, as of August 2013. With little or no oversight from the Congress, the ACA appears to be capsizing.

For more info, see:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/08/18/unpublished-crs-memo-obama-administration-has-missed-half-of-obamacares-legally-imposed-implementation-deadlines/

Another Special Interest Payoff Discovered in the “Affordable” Care Act: Doctors Set Their Own Fees

The “Affordable” Care Act (ACA) is drowning in a sea of minute details. Thousands of printed pages provide countless examples of ill-designed guidelines for the new plan. In recent weeks, the Administration has been forced to delay several of these mandates.

One major hallmark overlooked is the Special Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee. This is a committee of 31 doctors and specialists who make recommendations to set the fees for doctors. The Center for Medicaid and Medicare take these recommendations, and use them at least 90% of the time. Insurance companies follow suit and use the CMS rates to determine their fees eligible for provider reimbursement.

The political power priests in D.C. would certainly not allow the pharmaceutical industry to set their own fees for prescription drugs. This is a flagrant flaw in the ACA reform of the “broken medical system.”

For more information on this special interest group, see:

“Special Deal” by Haley Sweetland Edwards, in The Washington Monthly.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/july_august_2013/features/special_deal045641.php

 

Problems with “Affordable” Care Act Appearing Almost Daily

In what the New York Times calls “another setback for President Obama’s healthcare initiative, the administration has delayed until 2015 a significant consumer protection in the law that limits how much people may have to spend on their own health care.”

In 2009 when Obama toured the country to promote his healthcare plan, this limit on personal health expenses was one of the features he most hyped. Now, as the reality of implementation sets in, this “protection” for consumers has been delayed.

In other ACA news, if your state is one in which the major insurance carriers like Blue Cross Blue Shield or Aetna have opted out, you may not be able to keep your doctor. If your doctor does not participate in the federally run exchange in your state, you will not have the option of keeping your doctor. So start checking on things now so that you are not shocked in 2014.

“Affordable” Care Act Still Impacts Small Businesses

All small business owner’s, take heed. If your business has less than 50 employees, you do not get a delay in the mandate for employee health coverage governed by the Obamacare legislation, or Affordable Care Act (ACA). Only businesses with 50 or more employees will benefit from the delayed mandate in 2014. That impacts all start-up businesses, which in the past, have had the liberty of delaying offering health coverage at full price. Now, according to Obamacare, and enforced by the IRS, start ups will have to offer the full employee health coverages mandated by law. Health insurance premiums are expected to be significantly higher beginning January 1, 2014. Premiums for young and healthy workers are projected to increase 30 to 40 percent in order to subsidize the premiums of those less healthy. Growth in start up businesses is expected to slow rapidly due to this increased burden of mandated healthcare coverage.

Obama Administration Moves the ACA Target Again

The ACA target has moved again. The original bill passed by Congress had a mandate for employers with more than 50 fulltime employees to provide major medical health insurance or be fined $2000 per employee. The bill passed by Congress into law mandated implementation of this requirement beginning January 1, 2014.

The Obama Administration announced a delay of that aspect of the law until January 1, 2015.

Note that the Obama Administration, as of today, is still requiring all people who have individual coverage or who have no coverage to get approved ACA coverage by January 1, 2014. So individuals and small business owners who have individual policies are not helped by the delay.

Stay tuned here for the next movement of the target!

BCBSNC Offers Early Renewal Program to Small Groups in North Carolina

In an effort to address small business concerns about potentially devastating health insurance rate increases due to Obamacare (ACA) in 2014, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has developed an Early Renewal Program. The Early Renewal Program allows small businesses (under 50 employees) to elect to get renewal health insurance quotes near the end of 2013 regardless of their 2014 renewal month. Small businesses can then decide to participate in early renewal with no penalty, thus allowing them to lock in health insurance rates before the projected massive rate increases of 2014. If you are a small business owner and would like to learn more about the Early Renewal Program, get in touch with us. We will be happy to explain the details of the program to you.

Dean Ramey Insurance serves the Greater Raleigh area in group and individual health and life insurance, Disability insurance, Medicare supplement Insurance, Dental insurance and Long Term care insurance. www.rameyhealthandlifinsuranceofraleigh.com

 

IRS Enforcement of Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014

A major expansion of the IRS takes effect on January 1, 2014 when the ACA makes individuals subject to a new tax if they fail to obtain health insurance coverage.  Any individual who does not comply with the government mandate for carrying coverage is subject to a fine that will be assessed by the IRS. In addition the IRS will be responsible for implementing 47 new healthcare tax provisions under the ACA. According to Forbes, “These include the right to levy a penalty against businesses and individuals who don’t provide or acquire insurance, determining how to distribute annual subsidies to those qualifying for subsidies to buy the Obamacare coverage, and deciding how to deliver tax credits to small businesses that buy coverage for workers.” In addition, the IRS will include new paperwork in all tax returns beginning in 2014. The new tax document must have information that proves that each person purchased a qualifying health insurance policy under the ACA. The new IRS form must be filed with all 2014 tax returns.

 

Dean Ramey Insurance serves the Greater Raleigh area in group and individual health and life insurance, Disability insurance, Medicare Supplement Insurance, Dental Insurance and Long Term care insurance. www.rameyhealthandlifinsuranceofraleigh.com

ACA and PPACA Changes for January 1, 2014

Major changes are coming for everyone who uses healthcare beginning January 1, 2014. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), takes total effect on that date. Health Benefits Claim FormAll individuals and groups who have health insurance will be affected by the changes in the law. And all individuals and groups who currently do not offer health insurance policies will be mandated to purchase insurance or served with penalties. As of this date, the health insurance exchanges are still not up and running. Stay tuned to this blog to see weekly updates as the Affordable Care Act law changes and as the requirements are published. We will offer you a quick overview of the changes coming your way to help you prepare your family or your employees to work within the new laws governing group and individual health insurance coverage.

Dean Ramey Insurance serves the Greater Raleigh area in group and individual health and life insurance, Disability insurance, Medicare supplement Insurance, Dental insurance and Long Term care insurance. www.rameyhealthandlifinsuranceofraleigh.com